Pearls of nature
The southern part of the Barguzin Range is protected by both Barguzinsky Reserve and Zabaikalsky National Park.
Bargusinsky Reserve, founded in December of 1916, is one of the oldest reserves (nature preserves) in Russia. In the South, the zapovednik borders Zabaikalsky National Park. The highest point of the Barguzin Range, Baikal Peak (2841 m) is located at the reserve's border. Beautiful mountainous terrain occupies nearly half of the reserve-s territory. The middle to lower zones are covered with dense cedar spreads, and the lowest region is dense taiga. The study of the sable was the main reason for the founding of the Barguzinsky Reserve, which began with a 1914 expedition studying the effect of a three-year ban on sable hunting. Expedition members, G. Doppelmayer, D. Alexandrov, A. Baturin, K. Zabelin and Z. Svatosh, impressed with what they found, wished to create a reserve to provide a safe haven for the sable and other wilderness animals of Siberia. In May of 1916, they received approval from the Irkutsk government to go ahead with the project. Unfortunately, the government offered Evenk land for the reserve, causing years of hostility.
Despite land tenure problems with the Evenks and the emerging civil war, the borders of the reserve have remained intact, a tribute to the local administration. The reserve has made a great contribution toward saving the region-s indigenous sable. and has greatly contributed to saving the indigenous sable. Today, the reserve serves a much broader conservation purpose. Altogether, protected within the reserve, are 39 varieties of mammals, 220 kinds of birds, 4 species of reptiles, and about 30 types of fish and numerous invertebrates. Among the protected mammals, are the sable, brown bear, wolf, lynx, fox, otter, ermine, elk, reindeer, caribou, and musk deer